In the midst of the fortifying remnants of the Ahhichatragarh Fort in Nagaur, Rajasthan, lies a palace hotel called Ranvas. It was the palace for the erstwhile King’s sixteen queens. If you are a wanderer who is looking for the lust of life and mind, look no further. Ranvas teases you and torments you to return again and again.
The Rajput King Bakhat Singh had his multiple queens living in this palace that overlooks the desert expanse with the perfect play of light and shade in the ethereal evenings and morning dew. Here the queens lived in the common quest of their tormented heart and a bonding with one another to survive the heartbreaks and the eternal wait for their turn with the King.
As I entered the palace, now turned into a luxury hotel, I was sure that I had a heart to heart connection with the queens who had lived in this haveli, that stands stoic till date, with the mirth and their anguished cries of insecurity, every time the king got a younger queen into the palace.
Ranvas is built with cooling building materials and a canopy of trees and water bodies that keeps away the heat of the desert summer sun. The rooms are cool and luxurious, fit for the royalty in you.
The extremely courteous hotel manager took me all around the property. It was his demeanour and the hospitality that bowled me over. It touched me and redefined luxury as I walked from room to room basking in that splendour.
The hotel has a pool that looks up to the night desert sky studded with stars and at daylight the puffs of white cloud over the blue skies looks down reflecting into the cool tranquil water. Just ahead is the lone camel unaware of the painting it was unknowningly composing of the palace and its perfect surrounding.
Each room was lit at the perfect corner with lamps and candles and each room had a small sit-out with a canopy that kept your skin protected from the sun. As I laid back to look at the sky, I realised that we as human beings are so caught up with our future plans that we lose out on the special moments that pass us by. Sitting under the canopy I travelled inwards into this flight of fantasy, and this was possible only inside this mysteriously beautiful palace that egged me to stop letting my mind travel, and instead soak into this headspace of Carpe Diem.
I washed my hands and patted my face with the cool water from the marble wash basin with the rose petals strewn around me like royalty.
As I dipped my feet in the royal pool I looked ahead into the Jharoka ahead, I met my alter ego as I imagined a queen look down at me and smile in the memory of her past days when the water was cooled with rose petals and lotuses bloomed in the night.
I am sure I may have lived there years back and we were all friends who played board games and dressed together to dance in the full moon light. Maybe the camel outside was my pet who still searches for my hand to feed his soul.
I promise you Ahhichatragarh Fort is not something you can express in words but as I entered the large gates as the sun was going down in this royalty, I knew that is was my home in 4 AD, when the jharokas were lit with the kohl of my eyes and the glitter of the moonlight.
As I shut my eyes, I saw the same flock of birds flying away into the last rim of the red sun against this desert sky. I knew this was heaven on earth.
How to get there
Ranvas is in Nagaur, Rajasthan, which is well-connected by road, and you can get there from multiple different routes depending on your travel itinerary. The closest major cities are Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer. All these towns have cab services to Nagaur. Jodhpur and Bikaner are the closest cities. However, if you’re coming into India by flight, you’ll likely have chosen to arrive in Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital city.
- Jaipur to Ranvas (236km, ~4.5 hours)
- Jodhpur to Ranvas (137km, ~2.2 hours)
- Bikaner to Ranvas (113km, ~2.2 hours)
- Jaisalmer to Ranvas (319km, ~5 hours)
- Udaipur to Ranvas (370km, ~7 hours)
Google maps link for Ranvas: https://goo.gl/maps/W95BXuWZR9bLbtUW6